Pronounciation: Ca-lin-dr-o-pun-TEE-a bi-ge-lov-EE-i
Landscape Use: Xeriscape, accent, rock garden, barrier, specimen.
Form & Character: Stout, fixed, rigid, arborescent, friendly looking, but DON'T GET TOO CLOSE as you likely will be wearing stems segments on your pants or self.
Growth Habit: Branching cacti with cylindrical, jointed stems (not pad forming). Slow growing, upright and branching to 3 to 8 feet in height with near equal spread.
Foliage/texture: Stems jointed, 2 to 10 inches long and up to 2 inches thick, light green, but hidden by a dense array of white-yellow spines, terminal joint easily detached, spines 7 to 10 or more to 1.5 inches long; trunk pale becoming blackened with age. Branches are not truly cylindrical but have raised areas called tubercles on which the spine-bearing areoles are located. Definitely coarse textured.
Flowers & fruits: Flowers greenish yellow to 1.5 inches across, fruit deciduous, fleshy, the upper tubercles larger than the lower.
Seasonal color: None
Light: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained soil is required especially if used in an irrigated urban setting.
Watering: Very little supplemental water to establish and none once established.
Propagation: Seed rare, more common is the rooting detached joints.
Disease and pests: Root rot in wet soils
Additional comments: Teddy bear cholla is the best, most ornamental cholla for Phoenix landscapes.
There are 28 species in the genus Cylindropuntia. Other locally indigenious chollas include:
Recently, the genus Opunita was taxonomically re-organized. Many references will never-the-less still incorrectly refer to chollas as belonging to the genus Opuntia, rather than Cylindropuntia.